A virtual forum took place Wednesday for Bend-La Pine School Board Candidates.
Cameron Fischer and Christopher Strengbeng are running for zone 3.
Fischer says she has over 28 years of experience teaching, currently teaching at Oregon State University.
Strengberg says he has a master’s in history and works as an Operations Manager for a notary firm.
Each Candidate was asked the same questions, such as their stance on banning books involving queer people and people of color.
“Community-wise, if it’s not sexually explicit, you know, I’m more than fine with it being in the library,” said Strengberg. “But anything more than that, I do think it’s age specific. And whether or not they can physically and mentally comprehend what’s in those books.”
“This is part of the strategy of a national Republican talking point, and these are school board elections which are nonpartisan. And I feel like this even having this kind of going there with this whole topic is kind of breeding the battleground for culture wars,” said Fischer.
Sherrie Grieef says she has been a Bendite for over 30 years and has been involved in youth organizations like the Boys’ Scouts and 4-H for 20 years.
Amy Tatom, a certified Family Nurse Practitioner, is running for re-election under the belief education is the foundation of democracy and success in life.
They are running for zone 5.
Another big topic was school safety and security false alarms.
“I applaud locks,” Grieef said. “I think that’s a great first step. I would like to see it. You know, I look at the county courthouse, and our judges are very well protected, and I wonder why aren’t our children, you know, these are our future.”
“As a board, we don’t necessarily have a role to play in background checks,” Tatom said. “We can advocate for these things. We can advocate for background checks. We can advocate for politicians who will limit high-capacity magazines. Red flag laws these things are always really important.”
Eight questions were asked in total before opening and after closing statements.
Other questions included the largest issues at hand, teacher pay, biggest changes, curriculum, and CTE classes.
The Forum was hosted by League of Women Voters of Deschutes County and the City Club of Central Oregon.
You can watch the fill forum here and vote during the May 2023 Deschutes County elections.